President Donald Trump was in an unusually bipartisan mood on September 7 , when he convened a White House meeting about a massive project to build a rail tunnel under the Hudson River. He was still basking in the glow of a surprise deal he had cut the day before with top congressional Democrats, avoiding a government shutdown and generating a flurry of positive press. Now he was huddling with a bipartisan group of politicians from his home base of New York and New Jersey about the bipartisan topic of infrastructure, the issue on which the former developer seemed to share the most common ground with his political adversaries.
Trump had run for president as a builder as well as a deal-maker, promising “the biggest and boldest infrastructure investment in American history.” The topic of the meeting—the proposed $11 billion “Gateway” tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan—was big, bold and arguably the nation’s most urgent infrastructure project. The decrepit century-old tunnels that currently carry 200,000 daily passengers under the Hudson could fail at any time, which could devastate America’s most populous and productive metropolitan area, as well as paralyze the crucial Amtrak corridor connecting Boston through New York down to Washington, D.C. An engineering marvel to save Gotham from disaster felt like the kind of Trumpian megaproject the president might enjoy calling his own.
Thanks to Jeff Wood at The Overhead Wire for this link. His weekday emails provide the latest US and world news on transport, urbanism & design, urban issues, environment & ecology and research topics.